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Qatar talks entering 13th day, Taliban says ‘extensive discussions” continue

AT News Report

KABUL: The fifth round of peace talks between US and the Taliban has entered to its 13-day today (Saturday) which is the longest discussion ever comparing to past four round of talks, where according to the Taliban “extensive discussions” still going on.

Taliban group in a statement on Friday said extensive talks are ongoing, and putted pullout of foreign forces from Afghanistan on top of it.    

The issue of Afghanistan has two aspects—internal and external, the statement said, highlighting the focal of discussions on the external factors.  

So far the internal aspects of the war did not put in table of discussion with US officials, the statement added, while terming troop withdrawal and counter-terrorism efforts as important topics of discussions.

Moreover, a Taliban spokesman said, “today is Friday and there will be a break in the negotiations process. It will resume on Saturday (today).

This comes as recently US said that ongoing talks in Qatar have been focused on four key issues where both sides trying to reach a final agreement.

Robert Palladino, a spokesperson for the US Department of State said four key issues are post-peace deal counterterrorism efforts, intra-Afghans talks, US forces withdrawal and ceasefire.

Moreover, to further facilitate the talks US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he might visit Qatar to give a helping hand in the Afghan peace talks.

“I am hoping he (Khalilzad) makes enough progress and I can travel there in a couple of weeks and help move it along a little bit myself,” Pompeo said.

Furthermore, some sources say that the US and NATO forces commander in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller who was in Qatar has left Doha.

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